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What is May-Thurner Syndrome?

If you experience a unique pain and swelling in your left leg apart from your right, it may be May-Thurner Syndrome. May-Thurner Syndrome is one of several deep venous disorders, like varicose veins,  that our board-certified vein specialists treat at VeinSolutions of Austin and Georgetown.

What is May-Thurner Syndrome?

May-Thurner Syndrome is a rare condition that interrupts blood flow in the legs. It develops when the right iliac artery puts pressure on the left iliac vein (whose essential  job is to transport blood from the left leg to the heart). If left untreated, May-Thurner Syndrome can lead  to another serious condition known as DVT (deep vein thrombosis), which has the potential for fatal blood clots, or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs).

What are symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome?

Many people may have very mild or no symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome. For others, the distinctive pain and swelling in the left leg is a clear sign. Other symptoms appearing on the left leg may be:

  • Non-healing sores or ulcers
  • Skin discoloration
  • Varicose veins

What are the risk factors for May-Thurner Syndrome?

May-Thurner Syndrome is not considered to be a genetic or hereditary condition, rather it stems from a structural defect in the veins and arteries that make up one’s vascular system. Those who are more prone to developing this include:

  • Women who have had multiple pregnancies and babies
  • Women who take birth control pills
  • People with Scoliosis
  • People with a history of blood clotting issues

May-Thurner Syndrome is typically diagnosed by a vein specialist, or a board-certified vascular surgeon. The affected veins and arteries are examined through a variety of tests such as CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasound or venous duplex imaging.

How is May-Thurner Syndrome treated?

The goal of effective treatment for May-Thurner Syndrome is to improve blood flow surrounding the iliac artery and iliac vein in order to prevent the development of dangerous blood clots. Common options for treatment are:

  • Angioplasty and stenting to open up the iliac vein and artery
  • Bypass surgery to reroute blood flow around the dysfunctional area
  • Anticoagulant medication to thin blood and prevent clotting

Your physician will help you decide which is the best treatment option for your health.

To schedule an appointment with a vein specialist in Austin, please contact us here or call 512.452.VEIN (8346), or call 512.501.4287 for our clinic in Georgetown.

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